Mini Lesson

Tropical Cyclone Counts Model for Students

Mini Lesson

Tropical Cyclone Counts Image


Use the Data Literacy Map Cube to familiarize yourself with and interpret the model.

This is a flexible resource that may be used with a variety of mapped images.

Learning Objectives

  • observe and interpret physical characteristics of the Earth System using maps of NASA data
  • analyze how the phenomena changes with location
  • brainstorm how the phenomena connects to other parts of the Earth System
  • identify patterns and relationships in data

Materials Required

  • Map Cube Template and Questions for Students 
    • A number cube can be used in place of the template
    • There are four question sheets to choose from. Select one or use the one you are asked to use.
  • 1 sheet of paper
  • Pencil or Pen
  • Tropical Cyclone Counts Map Image


  • Print a copy of the template for the map cube, cut it out and assemble it with glue or tape. (You can just use a number cube if you don't want to make the cube.)


  1. Have the Tropical Cyclone Counts Map Image and the Question Sheet available.

  2. Roll the cube you chose to use and find the matching question/number on the Question Sheet. They are numbered for easy matching.

  3. There are questions under the numbered questions. These questions have letters next to them.

    • Select one of the questions next to a letter to answer.

    • Use a sheet of paper to record your answer to the question, and label your answer with the number and letter of the question.

  4. Repeat Steps 2-3 until at least 10 different questions are answered. NOTE: Question 5.B does not pertain to this particular map. Skip it and roll again if necessary.

Teacher Note

Tropical cyclones are sometimes called hurricanes or typhoons. The image is a model of the number of tropical cyclones around the world from 1842 – 2018. It was generated in the My NASA Data Earth System Data Explorer.